MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The economy's growth accelerated to 7.1% in the third quarter from 3.2% a year ago, exceeding market and government expectations. This was also the fastest growth rate among Southeast Asian countries.
"The beyond expectations third quarter growth was driven by the services sector with the robust performances of transport, storage and communications, financial intermediation and real estate, renting and business activities," National Statistical Coordination Board Secretary General Jose Ramon G. Albert said in a briefing Wednesday.
"On the demand side, increased consumer and govt spending, increased investment in construction and the third consecutive quarter growth in external trade contributed to the highest quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2010," he added.
This brings gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the nine months to September to 6.5%, already above government's target of a 5% to 6% economic expansion this year.
The country saw economic growth at 6% in the second quarter, a slow down from the first three month's 6.3%.